Oregon has twice as many weed shops as liquor stores and the regulators are overwhelmed

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/07/oregon-has-twice-as-many-weed.html


Sounds like someone needs to find a way to relax, man.


Hey is it 4:20 yet?


After some quick research, I’ve concluded that Oregon is woefully underserved by liquor stores. States with comparable populations have twice as many or more. Connecticut, a smaller population state, has over six times as many liquor stores.


Only 266 liquor stores in the state? I can believe 266 liquor stores in Portland (and correspondingly 564 dispensaries in Portland), but those seems awfully low for statewide numbers.


Connecticut is a bit of an outlier too. thecapitolist.com/wp-content/.../Liquor-Stores-in-Non-Quota-Non-Control-States.pdf

1 Like

I didn’t read the article (who has time for that?) but didn’t they know how many dispensaries they were approving before they approved them?


I smashed my clock so it is 4:20 all the time!


Some states have strange rules for selling liquor. My state for instance only allows for beer to be sold in grocery stores and liquor and wine to be sold in liquor stores, and I think this naturally leads to there being more liquor stores than is needed.


A rebel to the core.


FWIW you can apparently buy beer and wine at grocery stores in Oregon, with liquor stores having the monopoly only on distilled spirirts, whereas in Connecticut the liquor stores’ monopoly includes wine. That still probably only accounts for a small percentage of the difference.

Years ago I moved from Saskatchewan (government monopoly on liquor sales) to Alberta (government monopoly is only on wholesale, retail is privatized).

In Saskatchewan our city of around ~220,000 at the time had probably a dozen liquor stores, all quite big and with wide selections.

In Alberta, just our little corner of the city, no more than 40,000 people, has about a dozen liquor stores. They’re mostly tiny and with very limited selection - but if you get extra guests at dinner on short notice, you can always pop around the corner for an extra bottle of wine.


“Small shops are struggling to turn a profit while out-of-state investors flood chain stores with cash to buy up competitors.”

Ah, the true face of capitalism at work. Doncha love it?


It’s always 4:20 somewhere.


Liquor stores only have a monopoly on the distilled stuff here in Oregon, Beer and Wine can be sold at grocery and convenience stores.

So, if you’re more into beer or wine than hard liquor, you don’t have much need to visit a liquor store.


I just noticed that Happy Hour & 4:20 are curiously close together, Hmmm…


In Nevada any licensed place can sell whatever. It’s common to see gas stations and grocery stores selling hard liquor. The advantage to visiting a proper liquor store is better prices, better selection and really good customer service.

There’s also no limit on when you can purchase alcohol which i much prefer. You can basically pop in your corner convenience store and get yourself a bottle of both Jack & Coke or whatever at any time.

Being in Texas now i have many gripes on these limitations, and i’m not much of a drinker.


That’s the situation in my own state. However, even it has many more per capita liquor stores than Oregon. Also, I imagine those 266 liquor stores are concentrated around population centers in the west. Imagine how far one has to drive for an off premises drink in Oregon’s vast eastern desert.


Yeah, this seems like a really stupid problem they created for themselves. I don’t care enough to look it up, but IIRC, other states have specifically allocated new dispensary licenses during the rollout. This is certain to encourage a lot of very bad actors to go with their worst instincts. Someone was asleep at the wheel.

OTOH, over the counter LSD!

1 Like


I’m all about driving down prices. The price of an eighth has doubled in the past 20 years where I live (still not legal). I get that modern strains are stronger but there really needs to be an actual price range, not just $50 and up. Can Capitalism at least give me back $25 eighths?